The Sound of Music voted greatest movie entrance of all time

Julie Andrew's iconic stroll over the hills tops the Radio Times poll

The results are in. You voted in your droves in our poll to discover the best movie entrance of all time, and there was a clear winner: Julie Andrews. She topped the list with her iconic ascent to the top of a verdant hill in 1930s preannexation Austria before launching into a heartfelt “The hills are alive with the sound of music” in the musical of the same name.


She also made it to number five with – neatly enough – her aerated descent into the lives of an Edwardian family via umbrella in Mary Poppins. In fact, Dame Julie dominated with a popular mandate of almost a third of the votes cast. Her most famous films are clearly in your list of favourite things – and she certainly knows how to make an entrance, regardless of direction of travel. (She was one of only two stars to appear twice, the other being Dame Tim Curry, for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, at number 16, and Legend, at 34.)

Omar Sharif, a dot on a camel on the desert horizon in Lawrence of Arabia, was the only nominee to give Dame Julie a run, or a trot, for her money. It takes a certain combination of star quality, surprise and anticipation to make a great movie entrance, and few would argue with the credentials of your top five, filled out by Harry Lime, emerging from the shadows of a Viennese doorway in The Third Man (proving that not all great entrances even occur in the first half of a great film), and the star cruiser gliding endlessly overhead in a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars Episode IV (a pertinent tribute to an ongoing franchise, with Star Wars Episode VII almost upon us).

Julie Andrews in her winning entrance for The Sound of Music

It’s only one of three inanimate objects to make the final chart, all vehicular: the flying saucer in Close Encounters at number 50, and the ship in 2001: a Space Odyssey, at 64. And with the new Bond movie Spectre in cinemas now, it’s comforting to know that another of your favourite entrances leaves the door open for many more. As played by Sean Connery, the superspy is revealed, hands first, at number 7, introducing himself (“Bond. James Bond”) at the card table in Dr No.

If the Top 10 tells us anything about a gloriously mixed bag of first appearances by film icons – from the Woman in Red to the shark in Jaws – it’s this: the best entrances actually happen. They’re real. They were staged in front of our very eyes. Orson Welles is in an actual doorway. Connery is at an actual table, smoking an actual cigarette. Omar Sharif is on actual camel in an actual desert, riding towards the fastidious camera of director David Lean. (“He insisted,” Sharif once explained. “It was not just sadism, I think he wanted us to feel what it was to be out there in the desert, what the Bedouin feel.”)

Even the star cruiser (see below), shot by Industrial Light & Magic in a California warehouse, was achieved using models and slow-moving cameras against a green screen. The alien is an actual, pre-digital puppet, thrust upwards through John Hurt’s fake torso, splashing fake blood on his actual unsuspecting co-stars. And the concentric ripples in the glass of water that signal the arrival of the T rex in Jurassic Park are real, too (created by guitar strings being plucked beneath the receptacle). I’m not saying CGI doesn’t have its place – it clearly does, and arguably frees up the imaginations of film-makers, including Steven Spielberg’s dinosaurs – but there remains something reassuring about the corporeal.

We gave you the chance to nominate your own favourite entrance if it wasn’t on our shortlist, and this proved fertile ground, with the less immediately iconic likes of Apollo Creed in Rocky IV, Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China and the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact finding their way onto the final countdown.

For the record, Once upon a Time in the West was the only film to gain entries for all favourite entrance if it wasn’t on our shortlist, and this proved fertile ground, with the less immediately iconic likes of Apollo Creed in Rocky IV, Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China and the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact finding their way onto the final countdown. For the record, Once upon a Time in the West was the only film to gain entries for all the main characters – Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale and Jason Robards. Sadly, it split the classic film’s vote. 

We’ve yet to see the hotly anticipated entrances of Star Wars characters old and new in The Force Awakens, but they all have a singing nun on an incline to beat.


1. Maria/Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music

2. Sherif Ali/Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia

3. Harry Lime/Orson Welles in The Third Man

4. The star cruiser: Star Wars Episode IV

5. Mary Poppins/Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

6. The alien via John Hurt in Alien

7. James Bond/Sean Connery in Dr No

8. T rex in Jurassic Park

9. Hannibal Lecter/Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs

10. The Joker/Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

11. Medusa in Clash of the Titans

= 12. Honey Ryder/Ursula Andress in Dr No

= 12. The shark in Jaws

14. Sugar Kane/Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot

15. Tony Manero/John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever

16. Dr Frank N Furter/Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

17. Jessica Rabbit/Kathleen Turner in Who Framed Roger Rabbit

18. Britt/James Coburn in The Magnificent Seven

19. The cyclops in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

20. Col Walter E Kurtz/Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now

21. Thomas O’Malley/Phil Harris in The Aristocrats

22. Tina Carlyle/Cameron Diaz in The Mask

23. Captain Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean

24. The Bride/Elsa Lanchester in The Bride of Frankenstein

25. Frank/Henry Fonda in Once upon a Time in the West

26. Joe Gillis/William Holden in Sunset Boulevard

27. Indiana Jones/Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark        

28. Darth Vader/Dave Prowse + James Earl Jones in Star Wars Episode IV

29. Johnny Boy/Robert De Niro in Mean Streets

30. Magwitch/Finlay Currie in Great Expectations

31. King Kong in King Kong (1933)

32. Harmonica/Charles Bronson in Once upon a Time in the West

33. Inspector Clouseau/Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther

34. Darkness/Tim Curry in Legend

35. Alex/Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange

36. Santanico/Salma Hayek in From Dusk till Dawn

37. Holly Golightly/Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

38. Hit Girl/Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick Ass

39. Fanny Brice/Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl

40. The Creature/Boris Karloff in Frankenstein

41. Rhett Butler/Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind

42. Quint/Robert Shaw in Jaws

43. Lisa/Grace Kelly in Rear Window

44. Ringo Kid/John Wayne in Stagecoach

45. Count Orlock/Max Schreck in Nosferatu

46. The Kraken in Clash of the Titans

47. Superman/Christopher Reeve in Superman

48. Don Pedro/Denzel Washington in Much Ado about Nothing

49. The Man with No Name/Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars

50. Alien mother ship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind

51. Bane/Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises

52. Charlotte/Kelly Le Brock in The Woman in Red

53. Louis McKay/Billy Dee Williams in Lady Sings the Blues

54. Aragorn/Viggo Mortensen in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

55. Voldemort/Ralph Fiennes in Harry Potter

56. Tuco/Eli Wallach in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

57. Leatherface/Gunnar Hansen in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

58. Oskar Schindler/Liam Neeson in Schindler’s List

59. The Terminator/Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2

60. Lucy Honeychurch/Helena Bonham Carter in A Room with a View

61. Cheyenne/Jason Robards in Once upon a Time in the West

62. The Borg Queen/Alice Krige in Star Trek: First Contact

63. Laura/Gene Tierney in Laura

64. Spaceship in 2001: a Space Odyssey

65. Benjamin Braddock/Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate

66. Gilda/Rita Hayworth in Gilda

67. Freddie Miles/Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Talented Mr Ripley

68. Maximus/Russell Crowe in Gladiator

69. Apollo Creed/Carl Weathers in Rocky IV

70. Jill McBain/Claudia Cardinale in Once upon a Time in the West

71. Lt Col Kilgore/Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now

72. Hubbell Gardiner/Robert Redford in The Way We Were

73. Jack Burton/Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China

74. Tamara/Anjelica Huston in Enemies, a Love Story

75. Hagrid/Robbie Coltrane in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


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